Being a caregiver is no simple job. Not only are skills and knowledge about various medical conditions required, the genuine care and connection towards the patient can be one of the most demanding aspects of job. At the end of a tiring day, even the smallest tips that simplify your life and make daily tasks easier are a god send.
Here are some hacks that can greatly help you in your everyday role as a caregiver:
Around The House Hacks
Lure them with a Mural
If your client often experiences anxiety attacks and has a tendency to wander their way out the door, have an artist paint some calming picture on the doors, or walls leading to it. You can even paint it yourself or put up a pre-made picture and make it an activity! This will distract your client and make it easier to redirect their attention and keep them safe.
Doors which automatically lock may be dangerous for the elderly. They can lock themselves in accidentally and become frantic and worried. To prevent this, cut a pool noodle in half and fit it high up on the door. That way, they can’t lock themselves in a room or close their fingers in a door.
Signed with love
For patients who are having a hard time gripping or holding a pen or a pencil when writing or signing, drill a pencil-sized hole straight through a tennis ball and have them hold the pencil with it. The wide grip and shape help make it more comfortable for the senior to hold the pen and write.
Put a bar of soap inside an old pantyhose stocking so that when it slips or is dropped, it will still be within reach.
Confusing remote control?
Cover the unnecessary buttons on the remote with tape. Label the power button, as well as the channel and volume controls.
Grocery Shopping Hacks
Photo over list
Take a picture of the fridge and pantry to immediately know which supplies are running low and are needed to be restocked and refilled.
Be cool with a cooler
Instead of using plastic bags or brown grocery bags, bring your own cooler instead. This way, you help lessen the use of plastic and paper, ensure bad bacteria does not spoil meat, and keep frozen things from melting before reaching the house.
Utilize what you have
If you don’t have the time to go grocery shopping or cannot bring your client along, you can log on to MyFridgeFood.com. There, they give you easy recipes using ingredients you already have in the kitchen.
Cooking and Eating Hacks
To make sure you don’t have to run out to the grocery store every time you cook, make a list of meals you will prepare for a week. Start planning for the coming week’s meals as early as making the grocery list.
Eating is fun
Search for fun ideas in making, preparing and cooking meals together with the patient. There are overflowing suggestions online like making salad dressings in mason jars, or baking simple recipes. Engaging with your client and having them help you in the kitchen encourages them to be more active and keeps them happy and healthy!
Going out Hacks
Next level ID
For patients with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, the chances of wandering off and getting lost are high. Tottoos.org creates customized temporary safety tattoos that are designed to increase the chance for a lost person to be found, and decrease the time you and your loved one may be separated.
Back Seat Assist
Sometimes, simple things like getting in and out of the car can be a painful and hard. Utilizing a Back Seat Assist can be useful.
Use nail polish to distinguish which key for which door. This will help when you’re trying to quickly get in or out and keeps you from fumbling for the keys while keeping the patient safe.
App for You!
There are many apps that can help caregivers in tasks like medication needs, scheduling and organization. If a caregiver gets sick and has no time to go to a doctor, there are even apps that let you visit a doctor virtually to take care of simple medical conditions like strep throat or pink eye. All you need is a smart phone and a camera to get started!
Cool as Ice
If you need ice but there’s no prepared icepack, improvise by mixing one part rubbing alcohol with three parts water and freeze inside a zipper sandwich bag. This creates a flexible yet cold hack-icepack!
Maggie Drag is an owner and founder of a homecare agency located in central Connecticut. With over 27 years of experience in the industry, Maggie shares her knowledge and tips about care at home. Visit homecare4u.com to learn more about Maggie Drag.